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margharris
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Empowering thought choice.
   Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:27 pm
The two of you need to meet.
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Empowering thought choice.

Permanent Linkby margharris on Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:27 pm

Empowerment through thought choice. The practice of aligned thinking.

Many of us will have felt our mind take over, sending us out of control. Knowing the mechanics of thought choice makes us feel powerful and more in control. So lets make thinking more transparent and more strategic.

Step 1. The Mind Phase.
We all create thoughts. We have thought choice. Basically there are two thought streams: loving thoughts and fearing thoughts. Habitually we chose one or the other. We might call the flow of our thoughts either positive or negative.
If we love ourselves enough we will not want to disapprove of our life. We will allow and accept its unfolding. Nothing we need to complain about as it all works out in the end. We trust or have faith that we don’t have to sort it out all by ourselves. Life is a process of discovery.
When we fear and disapprove of ourselves and the circumstances, then we focus in such a way to produce negative thoughts. In this negative mindset we are saying our thinking has been hijacked by circumstances and we can’t think better unless all these external conditions change. We give away our power of thought choice. We let our thoughts run by default governed by our reactions.

The choice to fear or love constitutes our highest control point.

We just are not used to exercising that power of choice deliberately. Most likely we don’t think we can because we haven’t actually tried. We react rather than recognise the choice is always there.

I was brought to greater awareness of thought choice when I met a woman at a meetup for anxiety disorders. Hers was a very compelling story. She had developed a phobia of air conditioners on the roof. After a case of Legionnaires' disease in her community, she had become housebound with fear that every air conditioner on the roof was a potential death sentence. She would hold her breath even while driving. To back up the rightness of her thinking she had a stack of newspaper reports validating her fears. To her it was just inconceivable that we all could sit in this room while we were in mortal danger. Why weren’t we running down the street in squads ripping all these pollutants off the roof?

What we were wanting to do was change the thinking that had been clearly hijacked by fear.

There were answers already tried. The psychiatrists suggested medication for the symptoms and the psychologists exposure treatments and CBT. So what do you think? Was the rightness of the thought the issue or was how she was feeling the problem? What was making it such a problem?

I was clueless, so I listened to the experts who were really not that optimistic. The pattern was obvious. The woman had created a fear thought and had cemented it in place with analysis to combat her doubts. She was not in the vicinity of changing her thought and was ferocious in her defence of her own thinking. What lay ahead was an exhausting battle because she believed she was right. She had the evidence.

What I was to learn: Even though the woman’s thought about air conditioners was right from the viewpoint of her analysis and evidence coming from her mind. It was not correct. There was a very powerful indicator for this knowing? Her body and how it was feeling. Thinking was not just a mental act but involved the body’s response. The body was trying to reject the thought with quite a significant pain response. She just didn’t recognise this information coming from her body so she didn’t change the thought. The pain just got worse as she continued the thinking.

When you feel bad there is always a mindful thought selection you could make to feel better: It would sound like this. Maybe I am over reacting. A lot of people use air conditioners. Their lives are better because of them. I am glad people have them when it can be so hot. It is good that people know to get them serviced. It is all working out. They are making bigger and better air conditioners all the time. Nothing to worry about.
If you focus for a minute or two you can create a thought stream of positive loving thoughts about air conditioners. You can notice the ease and flow of that thinking. When you are in this stream of consciousness you will not be in the vicinity of those old fear thoughts. You don’t have to wrestle with them, you just leave them behind. Easy.

But are we likely to do this form of thought sculpting. “No." because thoughts are habits and we are in the habit of thinking a certain way. Our mind takes over and we just fail to notice how bad we feel.

We are so used to seeing thinking through our mind’s interpretation. We are victims of a mind hijack. How bad we feel is a symptom of how big a hijack is running our life right now.

So for this week start to become aware of what the body is saying to you? How is it feeling about what you are thinking right now? Do you have your own (air conditioner) story running in your mind? How would you know?

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